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How come my favorite singer/songwriter’s music is so dang hard for me to blog about?  Man, I re-read my post from last Sunday and it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.  Normally when I post it’s like a stream of passionate consciousness – done in one take.  That last post…well, I went back and tweaked a few things.  It’s rare I find myself at a loss for words! So yeah, that last post is alright but I’m still not completely happy with it.  So, I thought…why not just start a new one? 

I think this is the first time in over 20 years of loving Jude’s music that I’ve tried writing down how much it means to me.  And I stumble and struggle to find the right words.  When talent this extraordinary stirs your soul and music this fantastic is so timeless, saying how much I love and appreciate it doesn’t seem like enough.

A View from 3rd Street and Start the Car (two of his five solo albums) are now happily back in my car’s CD player.  So what if it’s rainy and blustery outside, traffic sucks and is even worse with some stoplight outages, slowing everything to an even more painful crawl?  I’ve got two of THE best CDs of all time cranked and I’m smiling and singing along shamelessly.  Fellow commuters, don’t be jealous!

I’ve read that when you listen to 3rd Street that “you don’t hear a single.”  Never heard of that expression before but I totally get it.  It means that EVERY track is stupendous; there isn’t just one or two that sound made for radio play and everything else is filler and skippable.  How many CDs are in your collection where you “hear no singles?”  I bet not many.

When I listen to these songs again I’m inspired to get back to playing the piano.  Maybe learning how to play guitar finger-style, rather than just the few chords I can clunkily strum.  I remember how I felt as an early/mid 20-something when I heard these songs for the first time.  And I smile at how wonderful they still sound today through all I’ve gone through in life.  His rich, creative harmonies.  His lyrics that have celebrated my highest of highs and carried me through my most angst-ridden lowest of lows.

Rise over the darkness / sail above the clouds / faith keep me from falling / and I swear I won’t look down.  That’s from Right There Now from Start the Car. My God how those lyrics have been my gut-wrenching prayer countless times, sung at the top of my lungs, choking through sobs with tears streaming down my face.  And yet also with jubilation, celebrating getting through that pain.

And – squee!! – I stumbled upon a Jude Cole Facebook group.  An unoffical fan site – it just was set up for people who love his music.  Wow, I’ve found My People who GET this passion for this incredible talent!!

And thanks to the magic of YouTube I found a few gems – a couple of videos from back in the day – PLUS (major bonus) some live, acoustical versions of his songs.  OK wow.  A talented singer/song-writer who sounds just as amazing LIVE as he does in his albums – dear God, I think I can die happy now. 

Pardon my gushing, but here we go:

Baby, It’s Tonight video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pavmG-YKLM (from 3rd Street).  Ah, the memories. 

Time for Letting go video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyDFfVMTGW0&feature=related   I honestly had not seen this video until just recently – the song is GORGEOUS.  And like one of the commenters posted, HIGH 5 if you’re still listening to this song.

Holy crap this is beyond amazing – Baby It’s Tonight (acoustical): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8ODFMRJsMw

And lastly (for now), his acoustical performance of Tell the Truth on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKqD3U3CKb8&feature=relmfu